Welcome to the first newsletter of the Bunwell and Carleton Rode Coronavirus Support. This newsletter is something new for all of us, though compiling it is reminiscent of my time as the Editor of a school newspaper under vastly different circumstances!
Neil Collins, Lee Harper and Michael Crouch formed the support group - somewhat in haste - on 15 March as the novel coronavirus began to establish itself in the UK. Panic buying had set in in some parts of the country and supermarket websites started to run out of delivery slots or crash completely. On 17 March the Government announced the first social distancing measures and it became clear that elderly and vulnerable people would require support. We put out a call on our Facebook group for volunteers and we were absolutely bowled-over by the number of offers of help from across Bunwell. We rapidly expanded to incorporate Carleton Rode and we initially split the villages into ten areas and appointed a ‘Co-ordinator’ local to each area to act as a contact.
We intend to produce and send a newsletter weekly. The aim of these newsletters is to keep you updated on our work, but also to spread some cheer! We aim to have an uplifting poem or short story and/or a recipe in every edition alongside an article on a topic of general interest from our broader volunteer network or the communities of Bunwell and Carleton Rode as a whole. All we ask is that any content submitted is either useful, helpful or uplifting; ideally all three! Please feel free to submitpoems, short stories, recipes or articles. If you are submitting a recipe: please try and choose one that makes use of ingredients that are currently in plentiful supply (who’s bought all the creamed coconut?!)
To date the work of the group has mainly consisted of collecting prescriptions for people as well as collecting groceries. Tracey - a member of staff at Attleborough Surgery - kindly collects from the dispensary there and delivers prescriptions. We work closely with South Norfolk Council’s ‘Help Hub’ to collect prescriptions from Wymondham Boots. Ali collects these on Thursdays and our network of volunteers (who we will acknowledge in full in our next edition) help to deliver them. We kindly request that you let us know by 3pm on Wednesday if you require prescriptions from Boots Wymondham that week, though we will do our best to accommodate prescription collection requests from any local pharmacy outside of these time frames.
With regards to grocery deliveries: we recommend utilising Bunwell Stores delivery service if you can. Please call 01953 788066, 9am-11am, Monday-Thursday. An alternative is to arrange for a click and collect from Waitrose or Sainsbury's. We can also make alternative arrangements for collection of groceries and other sundries. We also have members of our volunteer network who visit pet food stores, for example.
We regularly liaise with Bunwell Parish Council and the Help Hub. Following a suggestion that came via the Facebook group we liaised with Bunwell Parish Council regarding expanding its pre-existing ‘Book Swap’ in Bunwell Hill’s phone box to The Turnpike phone box. Cllr Phil Gledhill built some shelving to house books, DVDs and CDs beneath the defibrillator. Phil also liaised with Rev John Madinda and Bunwell PCC to create another ‘Swap’ in the porch of Bunwell Church.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need supplies or if you would simply like to have a chat with one of us. Please do not think that you might be burdening us, we and our network of volunteers are more than happy to help.
Our communities have come together at a time of adversity with unity, strength, resolve and compassion. We are not entirely out of the woods yet, but we can be justly proud of all that we have achieved together so far.
Michael Crouch, Editor
Some ‘Thank yous’ we have received:
"You guys are a God send. Thank you so much."
Ian H. who lives in Essex but was referred to us by South Norfolk Council’s Help Hub so we could assist his parents who live in Bunwell
"Thank you very much for all you do." Cathy C
.."this virus is a pain for everyone. Thanks for your help". David N
1) The Bunwell & Carleton Rode Scarecrow Hunt in aid of the Norfolk & Norwich Hospitals Charity
Fancy a fun activity for all the family during lockdown? Then join our ‘Build a Scarecrow’ competition or take part in the ‘Scarecrow Hunt’ as part of your daily activity.
Build your scarecrow – What to do
You have until the 30th June to build your scarecrow. Try to be as creative and original as possible using any materials you like – but no moulded costume masks.
Display your Scarecrow in front of your property. They should be positioned so it is unnecessary for anyone to access your property in order to view them and make sure they will not blow away or cause any injury or offence.
Take a picture of your Scarecrow and send it with your address and a suggestion for its name to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can pay an entry fee via our fundraising page - pay as little or as much as you like.
We will then send you your Scarecrow's ‘passport’ to display with your Scarecrow – it is needed for the ‘Scarecrow Hunt’ as described below. Please make sure this is easily viewable.
Display your Scarecrow until the 19th July.
The Scarecrow Hunt
From the 1st July a map of all the Scarecrows will be posted on bunwell.org.uk. As part of your daily exercise you can walk around and view the Scarecrows and take a note of their names from the passport displayed with the Scarecrow. Record their names on your ‘Scarecrow Spotter Sheet’ which can be downloaded from bunwell.org.uk. You have until the 19th July to get the names of as many Scarecrows as possible.
Send your Scarecrow spotter sheet along with your vote for your favourite Scarecrow to email@example.com before 26th July.
Winning Scarecrows and Scarecrow hunters will be announced around the 2nd August, how we do this will depend on the lockdown situation at the time but we will keep you posted.
2) Uplifting Poem - 'In The Time of Quiet' by Pablo Neruda
From Sue Pennell via Phil Gledhill. This poem is by Pablo Neruda a Chilean Poet, Diplomat, Politician and winner of the 1971 Nobel Prize in Literature.
'In the Time of Quiet' by Pablo Neruda
No one’s told the daffodils about the pause to Spring
And no one’s told the birds to roost and asked them not to sing
No one’s asked the lazy bee to cease his bumbling round
And no one’s stopped the bright green shoots emerging through the ground
No one’s told the sap to rest, deep within the wood
And stop the sleepy trees from waking, wreathed about in bud
No one’s told the sky to douse its brightest shades of blue
And stop the scudding clouds from puffing headlong into view
No one’s asked the lambs to still the springs beneath their feet
To stop their rapid rush and quell each joyful bleat
No one’s told the stream to halt its gurgle or its flow
And warned the playful breezes, not to gust and blow
No one’s asked the raindrops not to fall upon the earth
And fail to quench the soil in the season of rebirth
No one’s locked the sun down, or dimmed the shimmer of the moon
And even in the darkest night, the stars are still immune
Remember what you value, remember who is dear
Close the doors to danger and keep your family near
In the quiet all around us take the time to sit and stare
And wonder at the glory unfurling everywhere
Look towards the future, after the ordeal
And keep faith in Mother Nature’s power and will to heal.
3) ‘Bunwell Coronavirus Heroes’ by Bunwell Parish Council
Over the past weeks many of us have realised just how much we depend upon those brave professionals who, despite the significant risks to themselves, carry on with their essential duties to help get us through. The NHS, police, firefighters, delivery services, the local council staff who keep things healthy with bin collections and their support services to name but a few. But looking locally we have witnessed equally exceptional commitment to support the community and to be there should they be needed.
Hannah, Steve and their friendly and helpful staff have been truly marvellous during recent weeks doing their utmost to ensure customer needs are met with safety of paramount importance. The home delivery service has been a great comfort and relief to those who are confined to their homes now and in the coming weeks ahead and can rest assured of its continuing availability.
Bunwell is so fortunate to have its wonderful Bunwell Stores and that extends to include Tacolneston, Carleton Rode, Aslacton, Forncett and Tibenham who have also depended very much recently in addition to regular visiting customers.
Telephone: 01953 788066
Bunwell & Carleton Rode Coronavirus Support
This support team has done incredible work in a matter of weeks to set up a group of volunteers who are available to help with shopping, prescription collection or simply a comforting chat. They have completed two mail drops to Bunwell houses providing contact details and they hope that anyone in need contacts them and they will do their best to help.
Also, if you can offer help in any way please contact the group (details at header of this page, Ed.)
Telephone: 0333 050 9604
(Or click the round 'buttons' at the end of this article, Ed.)
Constants in an ever changing, sometimes crazy and dangerous world, Roger with Eddie soldier on to provide fuel, help and assistance, wherever possible, to keep us moving. It's business as usual and again how lucky we are to have Days. With some large garage groups closing it’s a welcome relief to have them so near.
And finally a huge thank you to our local farmers for whom it’s business as usual getting the crops ready for summer and beyond, helping us back on our feet when this is all over.
This email is from the Bunwell & Carleton Rode Coronavirus Support Group, a part of Bunwell Volunteers.